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Persian Chicken Koobideh Kebab

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 March 2018 at 10:32
This dish took me down a road I'm glad I followed.  I changed it up a bit to suit my tastes but not by much.  The kebabs are only a part of this Middle Eastern feast and each element deserves a thread of its own.  These elements being the Middle Eastern flat bread, the kebab, the Mast-o-Khiar, and the Persian Rice or Chelo with TahDig.  TahDig also deserves its own thread.  It can be made from several different ingredients.  Or can be left out altogether.  I used thinly sliced russet potato.

One of the reasons I don't post here more often is the effort it takes to properly present all of the information I find when researching dishes from around the world.  I fully appreciate and understand why folks here do that but I just don't have the time.  It's easier to post links to sites that I have found with techniques and recipes that I usually combine into what I think will work best. The other reason is the number of times I have written up a post only to see it disappear when I hit the Post New Topic button.  I always forget to save my thread before posting it.  When it disappears I'm done and move on. If this thread posts you'll know I remembered to save it before hitting the "post" button. Please bear with me on this.

I began by looking for a Syrian or Pita bread recipe.  But I came upon an interesting recipe for something called Lebanese Mountain Bread which looked and sounded more like something I would want to make.

It begins with a simple yeasted dough that completes a rise and is then refrigerated overnight to develop better flavor and texture.  It is much like a good pizza dough in this respect except pizza dough hangs longer in the fridge.

Stretch the dough over an inverted mixing bown as thin as possible without tearing


The method calls for cooking this flat bread on a very hot cast iron skillet but I own a Lefse baker which is also capable of high temps so I used that.


Some good sized bubbles should appear


Flip and stack on a dinner plate




Cover the plate with an inverted plate so the residual heat from the finished flat breads will gently steam adding moisture and keep them stretchy and pliable.


Next I made the ubiquitous Persian yogurt cucumber dip Mast-o-Khiar. Similar to tzatziki but not as involved.  It is the prettiest condiment I have ever seen. Plain Greek yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, fresh mint, dried rose petals, salt and pepper.


Next up, Persian Rice with potato TahDig.  I didn't take any photos of this while I was making it because I was thinking why bother.  Rice is rice right?  Oh boy oh boy how wrong could I be.  If you do a search for Persian rice you will fine accolade after accolade on the method and finished rice.  The method quick soaking in salted water, of boiling, draining, and then steaming long grain rice (I used Basmati) makes for the lightest, fluffiest, most perfectly seasoned rice I have ever had the pleasure to sit down to. Each grain is separate from the rest.  It is remarkable.  The addition of a small portion of the finished rice colored a beautiful yellow with a small amount of saffron water poured over the top makes this just outstanding.  There are pics of the finished rice below.  I combined a few methods I found during my search.  I did a half hour soak in salted water and added oil to the boil water.  The easiest one can be viewed here.

Time to skewer and grill the kebabs.  These can be made from lamb, beef or a combination of the two but I went with chicken.  All Persian chicken kebabs call for thigh or leg meat.  I ground a little bit more than 4 pounds of boneless, skinless thigh meat trimmed of any excess fat or garbage parts and thoroughly mixed it with chopped onion and spices.  I was familiar with all of the spices called for with the exception of red sumac.  This has an interesting lite lemony flavor.  The addition of saffron water to the chicken mixture elevates this dish.  The recipe and skewering method I used can be found here.

A note on skewers.  Thin American style skewers are useless junk.  I've tried them all.  Fire wire included.  They do not help turning anything but are great at spinning around by themselves while whatever foods they are supposed to be holding together fall off.  I've been using wide skewers for years now but not as wide as these.  I've been eyeballing these 27" long x 1" wide stainless steel skewers, seen below, for a very long time.  When I decided to make these kebabs I pulled the trigger.  Shipping is almost as expensive as the products themselves. I paid something like $30.00 for eight of these.  If there is a Persian mkt in your neighborhood they will run about half that.  The closest Persian Market to me was not worth the drive so I went with the skewers I found online.  These skewers are well worth the money if you cook with skewers like I do.  They are heavy duty and will not bend easily.

Place the kebebs over a hot fire, flipping every 30 seconds or so, until they are cooked through.  This doesn't take long.  Just a few minutes. Move the finished kebabs to the cool side to rest.




Blackened tomatoes and grilled onions are standard fare with cook like these.  Whole Roma tomatoes on one skewer.
 



The cover can be lowered on these flat skewers to prevent flair ups with other types of fatty meats
 

Persian Chicken Koobideh Kebabs with Persian Rice, Mast-o-Khiar, Blackened Tomatoes, Raw Onion, and Lebanese Mountain Bread




We chose to make gyro-like sandwiches out of what we had here and they were absolutely delicious.  I wish I had taken a photo or two of them.  Ahhhhh phooey! 







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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2018 at 10:52
That looks so good!
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gracoman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2018 at 22:18
Originally posted by Melissa Mead Melissa Mead wrote:

That looks so good!
Thanks Melissa.  It was very good.  This was a happy find on my part.  Especially the rice.  While I really enjoyed the entire cook, the rice and flat bread will be made again, and again.  Did I mention how much I like this rice Smile


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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2018 at 10:18
gMan - you keep setting the bar beautifully high! Great job on everything.

The Maast-o-Khiar is indeed beautiful; I remember seeing it before and wanting to try it - hopefully this summer.

Everything else simply looks wonderful...a perfect Persian feast!
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Hoser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2018 at 02:54
Reminiscent of the Greek gyro....one of my all time favorites. 

Well done G-man....well done!ClapClapClapClapClapClap
Go ahead...play with your food!
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gracoman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2018 at 09:50
You're reading my mind.

The meat spices are different and there is no slow vertical rotisserie spit slow roasting involved here but the texture is pretty darned close although not as dense on account of, you know, chicken. But it's close enough so I'm thinking these wide skewers will work well for the gyro starved home cook.  And the pliable flatbread is some of the best I've tasted.

By George, I believe we've got it Smile
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